LETTER: Consequences of development

No one can tell me how many homes have planning permission to be built now, which have not been built yet, what is the maximum number of people the local infrastructure can support, i.e. water, transport, hospitals, health centres, schools, roads and employment.
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Water - we have to rely on the flow from the River Rother for our drinking water. This river starts up in the North Downs in Hampshire and then drains down to Petersfield to a large sewage works known as Princes Marsh which takes all the waste water from Petersfield with 14 other sewage works on the Rother.

This water is abstracted at Hardham to supply Henfield and many other parts of the River Adur catchment. In fact the River Rother drains all the run-off between the North and South Downs over the whole catchment.

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Not only has the water we drink got the residue from human medication in it, it also contains all the domestic cleaners, bleaches, etc, farm waste, road drainage, etc.

Also since the introduction of wood chippers we have the bark of oak trees being left rotting in the ground which produces arsenic which was used for tanning leather in the past.

Mycobacterium Avium Subspacies Paratuberculosis, MAP for short, is found in the drinking water in some parts of the country and is implicated in Crohn’s disease or Johone’s Disease found in cattle.

What is more of a concern is if flooding did occur south of the Downs at Shoreham and along the coast all the fresh water boreholes would be wiped out for good. This has happened before. Also over-abstraction, we can draw in saline water from the sea, so the water supply south of the Downs can only supply a number of homes, not an unlimited development.

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As for a new town, the land for the town is imperious clay which will have a run-off compatible to concrete. The problem is the River Adur is a steep catchment which drains a large area with the import of water from other rivers for domestic use. It soon becomes overwhelmed in high rainfall after long dry or wet times.

The land has had foot and mouth animals buried on it, also when most of the land was used for chicken production the land was subjected to large amounts of cyanide spread over the land in manure for years, also in the early 1970s the heavy rainfall caused the manure lagoons to overflow and run into the east branch of the river which flooded much of the flood plain down to the fork below Henfield killing large amounts of fish and large holes had to be dug to bury them with a JCB digger.

It is irresponsible to build more homes than the infrastructure can maintain. All the new people the homes would bring into the area, the response time for an ambulance should be eight minutes, it would have to travel at 120 miles per hour to achieve this from Shoreham to Henfield.

Transport - the cost of transport to get to employment is such that you work one day per week for that alone. You have to be able to return home quite early in the evening due to the time of the last buses back to the village.

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Education - the village school is overcrowded with poor light. The students have to work by lights all the time, also once they are 11 years old they have to be transported by bus to Steyning which is a cost to West Sussex council over the last 60 years. They could have built ten schools with the cost, what is more once the students reach 16 they have to pay for their own transport even though they have to continue with their education by law.

Before planning inspector Mr Slater, along with the planners and MPs, makes their claims they need to take a good look at the consequences of their actions and sort out the facts not just the benefits to developers.


Ex-flood defence agent West Sussex, Furners Mead, Henfield

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